Hong Kong unveils response plan against China’s pneumonia outbreak

Health surveillance officers use temperature scanners to monitor passengers at Hong Kong International airport. (AP pic)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong unveiled a plan to deal with infectious diseases after a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

The government classified the response level as “serious” – the second-highest scale of action in its three-tier system with the top-most being emergency, according to a statement from the Department of Health.

The current classification estimates the immediate health impact on the local population to be moderate.

The total number of suspected cases in Hong Kong rose to seven, according to Radio Television Hong Kong, citing Sophia Chan, the city’s secretary for food and health. The government has decided to step up the monitoring of the situation, she said.

As of Friday, 44 people have been diagnosed with pneumonia in Wuhan, and the cause is unknown.

Hong Kong authorities said thermal imaging systems will be deployed as part of increased fever surveillance at boundary checkpoints.